Art and Cooking in San Miguel De Allende

Jun 14, 2018 Avatar Nina Omari Nina Omari

The last time I took an art class was… never. I can’t even hold a painting brush that well. But here I was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with an artist, Jose Luis Arias, who is originally from Mazatlan and moved here to attend Art School. He eventually settled here and has his own art gallery. His patience and his love for teaching art were obvious, and I enjoyed this activity so much, in addition to the 17th century subject of our class, which was the Baroque style “La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel.”

I felt like an art class is an activity everyone should experience when they travel to a beautiful, historical, and cultural destination.

We can learn so much more about the destination, interacting with a local artist who knows how to describe the smallest details of a beautiful monument, or an old church, or a Unesco World heritage site like San Miguel de Allende.

Our residence was the Casa Sierra Nevada by Belmond, an authentic colonial building spread across a few city blocks. Their one bedroom suite with private plunge pool and private terrace should be considered; it was comfortable, spacious, and had all the luxuries of a five-star resort.

As I walked the narrow cobblestoned street in San Miguel on the way to the local market for my culinary activity, I smelled the different dishes coming from the windows of the houses and from the small shops that serve coffees and cappuccinos. You feel you are transported to a different place and time, to an older Colonial Mexico, and it was refreshing, inspiring, and inviting. Our chef, Rubin, took us on a great tour of the market, where we tasted barbecued corn that was so delicious and fresh. The market was a multi-colored, multi-sensory experience of food, flowers, fruits and vegetables.

You can buy anything and everything in the market, and it was super clean, with everything neatly presented. It was impressive. Chef Rubin stopped at the cheese vendor, where we tasted cheeses of Mexico, like Oaxaca, Cotija, and Panela; he also bought some for our cooking class. He bought dried chilis from which to make his famous Tortilla soup, which was so amazing, and which I helped in the preparation of.

Our lunch was typically Mexican, with the lovely tortilla soup, great tasting and well-cooked flank steak, and a creamy lemon dessert.

Our culinary experience didn’t end there. Later in the evening we continued in our quest for good food and wine, and visited two rooftop eateries, where we enjoyed fresh seafood, smooth Tequila, and gorgeous desserts and cocktails. I walked through the narrow cobblestone streets throughout the evening, and glanced one last time at La Parroquia, and hoped to visit this beautiful town again.
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